Nazi Looted Art: Theft, Destruction, Return--But No Redemption?
From the 1930s through 1945, the Jewish population of Europe suffered the greatest assault on art in recorded history. This course will examine the systematic looting of fine and decorative art and Judaica from Jewish artists, dealers, collectors, and average people before and during the Second World War. We will examine the factors leading up to this extraordinary travesty, including the important role played by the Jewish population in the prewar development, collection, and appreciation of the arts. By analyzing the extraordinary records kept by the German government, we will gain a better understanding of the multiple motivations of the Nazi Party and the others who participated in pillaging these treasures. We will study the first efforts in history to return war looted art and artifacts, from the London Declaration to V-E Day. How successful were those efforts? What factors hampered the return of this property? How was property returned in the decades after the war, and how are claims vetted today?
You'll Walk Away with
- An understanding of the Jewish contribution to the arts in prewar Europe
- Knowledge of the efforts to return looted art and the process for doing so
- Aspiring and practicing arts professionals
- Art enthusiasts